Now that the academic year is over, the Center staff is making the most of the summertime and working hard to intensify our outreach efforts. Last month, Research Program Officer Martha Stroud and I have travelled to the UK, Germany, and Italy to present our research and promote the use of the Visual History Archive (VHA) with scholars. Each trip provides an opportunity to share the tremendous potential of the VHA and we are thrilled by the enthusiasm we encounter everywhere. Read more about our research and our outreach efforts below.

In June, we also welcomed the Center’s USC undergraduate summer research fellows. USC undergraduate student fellows Noha Ayoub (Law, History and Culture) and Griffin Williams (History) are both conducting exciting research projects that illustrate the range and the versatility of the VHA. While Ayoub is analyzing recent Rwandan video testimonies, Williams is working with Holocaust survivor testimonies on death marches during World War II. Read more about their research below. 

Finally, we are also preparing for our upcoming conference “Digital Approaches to Genocide Studies.” Held at USC on October 23-24 and co-sponsored by the USC Mellon Digital Humanities Program, this conference will bring together innovative scholars from a wide range of disciplines to examine the relationships between digital methodologies, practices, ethics and contemporary Holocaust and genocide studies. Save the date and watch out for more details about the conference in next month’s newsletter. 

Wishing you a wonderful summer.



Wolf Gruner

Founding Director of the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research
Professor of History and Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies


Center Staff to Present Research on Indonesia at Kean University Center

Research program officer Martha Stroud travelled to Kean University, NJ, to participate in a workshop aimed at discussing book manuscripts, which are based on the papers presented at the Reflections symposium held in November 2015 at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University. This invite-only workshop is part of Kean University’s summer institute about “Large-Scale Violence and Its Aftermaths” and Martha Stroud, an expert on the 196566 mass killings in Indonesia, presented her chapter entitled “Rethinking Resilience: Considerations on Resilience in Indonesia After 1965.” 

You can read more about her research here.

Center Director Gave Keynote and Presented New Book in Europe

This month, Wolf Gruner, director of USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, travelled to Oxford, Frankfurt and Berlin. At Oxford University, UK, he gave a keynote address entitled “A Twisted Road: The History of Holocaust & Genocide studies, its European origin and its comparative future” at the Symposium “Violence, Atrocity and Conflict: New Research from East Asia in Comparative Perspective with Europe,” that took place at the new China Center. He reviewed the development of Holocaust and genocide studies and gave some outlooks about future comparisons regarding the Nanjing massacres performed by the Japanese army in 1937. During his stay, he highlighted the recent collection of testimonies from Nanjing massacre survivors recorded by the USC Shoah Foundation. 

Gruner continued on to Germany where he presented his most recent book on the persecution of the Jews in Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia 1939-45 at the Fritz-Bauer Institute for Holocaust Studies and Remembrance in Frankfurt and at the Memorial “Topography of Terror” in Berlin. The book details the anti-Jewish policies put into place by Czech and German authorities in the Bohemia and Moravia protectorate and how this resulted in the radicalization of the persecution of Czech Jews. The book also highlights the diverse reactions of the Jewish communities under siege and the individual resistance efforts of many Czech Jews. Published in October 2016, it received a prize for most outstanding German studies in the humanities and social sciences in 2017 by the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, the VG WORT and the German Foreign Office, dedicated to fund a translation into English. The English edition will be published with Berghahn Books New York.

You can read more about his research here.

Center for Advanced Genocide Research Awards Inaugural Breslauer, Rutman and Anderson Fellowship to Diane Marie Amann

Diane Marie Amann, Associate Dean at the University of Georgia School of Law, has been chosen as the first-ever Breslauer, Rutman and Anderson Research Fellow at USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research. T

he Breslauer, Rutman, and Anderson Research Fellowship, endowed by Gerald Breslauer, Mickey Rutman, Tammy Anderson, and Sharon De Greiff, enables one advanced-standing PhD candidate to spend one month in residence at the Center every year. As the inaugural fellow, Amann will conduct exciting research for her dissertation on the experiences of women who participated in the Nuremberg Trials and other major criminal trials in the aftermath of World War II. 

You can read more about her research here.

Center Welcomes Two USC Undergraduate Research Fellows

This month, USC undergraduate fellows Noha Ayoub and Griffin Williams started their research projects using the VHA. Ayoub, a Law, History and Culture major with a minor in Middle East Studies, is currently analyzing hateful rhetoric through Rwandan testimonies, while Williams, a History major, is building on research on prisoner escapes and death marches during the Holocaust that he had begun in Center director Wolf Gruner’s Holocaust class last semester. 

Ayoub is particularly interested in the topic of nationalism in Rwanda and the ways in which fictionalized narratives against Tutsis perpetrated by the state led to genocide over 20 years ago. You can read more about her research here.

Williams’s current research is specifically focused on death marches and more particularly on how Nazi officers treated the prisoners on the marches, what caused prisoner casualties and deaths, and how commonly-held narratives about death marches may oversimplify what really happened. You can read more about his research here




Center Director Conducts VHA Workshop in Frankfurt

While in Germany, Professor Gruner also conducted an introductory workshop about the Visual History Archive at the Goethe University of Frankfurt, Germany. The Goethe University recently became a full access site for the Visual History Archive and Gruner hosted an introductory workshop to the VHA, which was attended by 25 people, mostly faculty from the History department, as well as faculty from sociology, visual studies, political science and literary studies. Two historians also came from another university in Giessen to attend the two-hour workshop. Attendees were particularly enthusiastic and expressed their interest in working with this important resource in research and teaching. 

Center Staff Participates in the Latest European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) Workshop in Venice, Italy

Center Research Program Officer Martha Stroud traveled to Italy to participate in a workshop organized by the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) entitled “Data Sharing, Holocaust Documentation and the Digital Humanities. Best Practices, Case Studies, Benefits.” The workshop, organized by Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea - CDEC Foundation and the Università Cà Foscari, focused on the potential of data sharing when it comes to Holocaust research and the digital humanities. Presentations and discussions over two days focused on digital archives and libraries, data sharing practices and technologies, and case studies. Stroud’s presentation focused on the Visual History Archive, its controlled vocabulary, the impact of the VHA Program on research and collaboration, and a few of the groundbreaking digital humanities projects of Center-affiliated researchers that are using the vast amounts of data in the archive. The workshop included participants from many of the other major Holocaust archives and museums – including the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University, US Holocaust Memorial Musuem, and Yad Vashem Jerusalem– and served as an exciting opportunity to discuss the current state of data sharing, identify future opportunities, investigate connections with the EHRI Project, and learn about intriguing research. 


Upcoming Events

August 24, 2017 at 4 pm

A lecture by the team of scholars participating in the Center’s Interdisciplinary Research Week. Learn more about their research on Holocaust survivors in South America here

August 31, 2017 at 4 pm

A lecture by Christian Delage (Institut du Temps Présent, Paris) "The Place of the Witness: from the Holocaust to the November 13th's Attacks in Paris."   

October 23­-24, 2017

CAGR International Conference: “Digital Approaches to Genocide Studies,” at USC.

November 2, 2017

A lecture by Alex Hinton (Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, Rutgers University).


Call for Applications                                                                     

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for the Study of Racial and Religious Biases on College Campuses 

The USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research invites applications for its 20172018 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for the Study of Racial and Religious Biases on College Campuses. The fellowship provides $20,000 support for a period of one semester (four months) and will be awarded to an outstanding postdoctoral scholar from Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, or a related field such as Ethnic or Religious Studies where the scholar is an expert in ethnographic methods. The recipient will be required to spend one semester of the 2017-2018 academic year conducting research on behalf of the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research. This research will be a comparative ethnographic study of racial and religious bias in its many forms – especially antisemitism and islamophobia – on university campuses. Deadline to apply is August 15th, 2017

For more details, click here.

Call for Papers

International Conference: "New Perspectives on Kristallnacht: After 80 Years, the Nazi Pogrom in Global Comparison"

November 4-6, 2018 at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles

The USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research and the USC Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life invite proposals for their 2018 International Conference “New Perspectives on Kristallnacht: After 80 Years, the Nazi Pogrom in Global Comparison” that is being organized in cooperation with the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C., and the Center for Research on Antisemitism at the Technical University Berlin, Germany. Conference topics range from new research on the pogrom itself to comparisons with other anti-Jewish and antiminority pogroms in modern world history. Deadline to apply is August 15th, 2017.

For more details, click here.